Mum faces race against clock to raise funds for MS treatment

Exercise was her life. But now MS patient Kate Dawson struggles to even walk around her house.

Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 12:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 1:28 pm
Kate Dawson, 41, from Ackworth, who has MS and has launched an urgent fundraising campaign to raise £45k for pioneering treatment in Mexico which could stop the disease and prevent her from ending up in a wheelchair. The former fitness fanatic was diagnosed with MS six years ago and since then has seen her mobility affected, she has had to give up all exercise and her job as a teacher. Pictured with her teenage sons Sam and Josh. 27th May 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Exercise was her life. But now MS patient Kate Dawson struggles to even walk around her house.

The mum-of-two has been given the prognosis that she will eventually end up in a wheelchair.

But she refuses to accept it and wants to undergo pioneering treatment in Mexico which could stop the disease in its tracks.

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The 41-year-old said: “I am determined not to keep progressing on the downhill. The doctor just drew a graph and said ‘that’s the way you’re going to be going’. I don’t want to just accept it.”

Kate, from Ackworth, discovered the treatment - HSCT - through research online.

It is only available in the UK through medical trials. But Kate discovered a clinic in Mexico which can start treating her on June 20.

She now faces a race against time to raise £45,000 to cover the costs of the gruelling-month long procedure,

The former Ackworth School teacher said: “I only have a month to raise the funds but I can’t afford to wait.

“Each week my condition is worsening and following a recent MRI scan I have several more lesions on my spine and brain. MS is a cruel disease as it takes your life away from you bit by bit.”

Kate was a qualified fitness instructor when she first realised something was wrong at the age of 35. She kept tripping up when she was running.

She underwent scans and lesions were found on her spine – a sign of multiple sclerosis.

The condition affects the central nervous system and can cause a range of symptoms including mobility problems and visual impairments.

She said: “Prior to MS I had always loved the outdoors and sport was my life. Now my balance has gone and I hobble round my house.

“Each morning, you don’t know how you’re going to be or what’s going to be the problem.”

Her illness has had a massive impact on her husband Rob and their sons Sam, 15, and 13-year-old Josh.

“That’s the most painful thing,” she said. “I can’t go out and see them play sport or do things with them. This, along with missing out on fun days out with my family, is absolutely heartbreaking for me.

“I want my kids to grow up with an active family. Not being mobile is starting to break me and I don’t want it to.”

An online donation page has collected £5,000 for Kate’s cause, while she is also selling bracelets online and pupils and teachers at her school are fundraising.

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